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Officials give tips on how to avoid injuries, accidents and other issues this holiday season

Posted at 5:52 PM, Dec 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-23 22:32:35-05

SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City Fire Department gave advice to help prevent holiday decorating, driving and depression mishaps.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, it’s also the most accident-prone.

They call it the three D’s of Christmas, “decorations, driving and depression,” said Captain Kyle Lavender.

Those are the things that cause the most incidents during the holidays.

“We just really want you to take that ounce of prevention,” said Lavender.

When it comes to your décor, the fire department said the lights on your house should be the only thing that are lit, not your tree.

“We’re at the end of the season right now the trees are really dried out,” said Lavender. “Make sure that you keep those trees full of water.”

If your house looks like the Griswolds’, “be very, very careful getting those decorations back off the house,” Lavender said.

The second area where officials see an uptick of accidents is on the roads.

The department said if you plan to get a little jolly, make sure you have a designated driver.

“A lot of families out on the road, a lot of traveling, a lot of parties,” Lavender said.

While you can’t wait to see the in-laws, make sure you prepare for last minute changes.

“Make sure you have a backup plan if you break down, make sure you have equipment that can keep you through the night,” Lavender said.

And in the midst of all of this commotion – don’t forget your friends and family.

“We, unfortunately, see a spike in suicides and domestic assaults, this can be a really tough time… jobs or family situations, they really get magnified this time of year,” Lavender said. “All it may take is a phone call just to wish them a Merry Christmas."

So this time of year could make anybody want to scream, but you don’t have to be alone like Kevin McCallister.

 “From our family to yours we wish you a very Merry Christmas, but we don’t want to be part of your tradition this year,” Lavender laughed.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services. In an emergency, dial 911.